I drove to Grand Rapids alone. Blast the one-way streets in that city!
In line for the VIP, I met Starrynites, Gemzone, Joner, Freo, and a woman named Terry who only lurks on all the sites (she flew in from Florida for both Michigan shows!) and we all went in together. As is so many times the case, by the time we were ushered into the venue, we were already fast friends. I don’t know how that happened, but I’m glad for it. I walked into the darkened bar and had a bite to eat (hot dogs!) then they moved us into the arena for the VIP. I looked up and there he was. David. Like a regular person. Except not. He was beautiful. He was very chatty. His voice had come back in full that day and he was beaming from it. Incandescent.
We were asked what we wanted to hear him sing and several suggestions were made – David decided on Heaven and A Thousand Miles. He called Kendra out to play the keyboard for him in a lower key. Better for his voice. Said she’d never done it all the way through but she was a good sport and would do it. Then, David just opened his mouth and…Heaven. Really. I was in the front row and felt it all through me. I relive that moment daily. Next was A Thousand Miles. It was beautiful and perfect, but I was still struggling to keep the tears at bay from previously mentioned Heaven. He seemed more comfortable with the keyboards than I’d ever seen. Of course I’d never seen it live before. He smiled alot when he sang this.
Then David rambled on about what he did a few days prior when he was bored. He said “Actually I wasn’t bored, I was avoiding doing something I didn’t feel like doing. So I separated my M&M’s by color. Then I counted up my plays by artist on my computer. Top plays by artist and then by song.” Can’t you just picture that – all the M&M’s sorted into their color groups?
We took our seats. Second row, center stage. There were a couple of small children in front of me. They remained seated for a good portion of the concert. 🙂 When David came onstage, he was transformed. Or I was. Dark grey t-shirt and black jeans. He hit the stage and never stopped performing. The sweat was flying everywhere. We loved it! What wasn’t apparent in the videos is the tiny area on stage left (our right). He moved between the keyboards with three inches of stage, never slowing down. But he was surefooted and played to the entire audience. Flirty and happy. Somebody Out There is my new favorite song. I don’t know how I survived all the eye contact. I’m not sure I have. He is surely not afraid of it. The archugaze has stayed with me. (You try standing directly in front of him when he locks onto your eyes and sings that. He won’t let you look away. It’s almost painful. In a good way.) He is aware of it. That’s his thing. I believed every word of that song.
Angels was the encore. I’ll steal a line from Bliss: “Unbearably beautiful.” I was in tears. And they’ve been creeping up on me several times a day since.
There were about 50 people there. I spent some time talking with Kristen, who is not new at this. She actually learned the business while doing some work with the Rolling Stones. She has worked with many people. She said no one does as much as David does. Kids seated on the ground in front, adults in the two rows of chairs. The three of us were too wound up to sit – Kristen said it would be fine if we stood. We stood behind the chairs, in front of David. About 12 feet away.
More ArchuRandomness – how can you not love this guy?
Suddenly David walked in with Ashlee and Ray. He breezed by the food, stopped and grabbed a slice of watermelon. Sat down at his keyboard and enjoyed it right down to the rind. He said he was hungry – that he had only eaten a salad. I loved all the noises. Mmmmmmmmmm was quite prevalent. And “I love watermelon!”
He sang Crazy and it was utterly beautiful. He played the keyboards and rambled after that about different songs with the title Yesterday. Then he started singing the Beatles Yesterday. I died a little. The place was silent. Just the first line, but what a first line.
Time to sing I’ll Be. He wondered aloud if he should stand or sit. I said – “Do whatever you want.” He started to sing “Doooo whatever you want” I loved it. Then he grabbed the mic, threw back his head and sang so unearthly beautifully that I am sure the angels heard. The breeze was blowing, the sun was shining, and his voice carried over the treetops. What a moment. I will never forget it. Neither will the people standing outside. I heard a few screams. They couldn’t see him. But they could hear him.
We did dorky peace signs for the photo op which I loved. I’ll end this with a line from one of my favorite movies: “When the Gods want to punish you, they answer your prayers.” I miss David. Very much.